ABSTRACT: The heterogeneous course, severity, and treatment responses among patients with atopic dermatitis (AD; eczema) highlight the complexity of this multifactorial disease. Prior studies have used traditional typing methods on cultivated isolates or sequenced a bacterial marker gene to study the skin microbial communities of AD patients. Shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis provides much greater resolution, elucidating multiple levels of microbial community assembly ranging from kingdom to species and strain-level diversification. We analyzed microbial temporal dynamics from a cohort of pediatric AD patients sampled throughout the disease course. Species-level investigation of AD flares showed greater Staphylococcus aureus predominance in patients with more severe disease and Staphylococcus epidermidis predominance in patients with less severe disease. At the strain level, metagenomic sequencing analyses demonstrated clonal S. aureus strains in more severe patients and heterogeneous S. epidermidis strain communities in all patients. To investigate strain-level biological effects of S. aureus, we topically colonized mice with human strains isolated from AD patients and controls. This cutaneous colonization model demonstrated S. aureus strain-specific differences in eliciting skin inflammation and immune signatures characteristic of AD patients. Specifically, S. aureus isolates from AD patients with more severe flares induced epidermal thickening and expansion of cutaneous T helper 2 (TH2) and TH17 cells. Integrating high-resolution sequencing, culturing, and animal models demonstrated how functional differences of staphylococcal strains may contribute to the complexity of AD disease.
Project description:Atopic dermatitis (AD) has long been associated with Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization or infection and is typically managed with regimens that include antimicrobial therapies. However, the role of microbial communities in the pathogenesis of AD is incompletely characterized. To assess the relationship between skin microbiota and disease progression, 16S ribosomal RNA bacterial gene sequencing was performed on DNA obtained directly from serial skin sampling of children with AD. The composition of bacterial communities was analyzed during AD disease states to identify characteristics associated with AD flares and improvement post-treatment. We found that microbial community structures at sites of disease predilection were dramatically different in AD patients compared with controls. Microbial diversity during AD flares was dependent on the presence or absence of recent AD treatments, with even intermittent treatment linked to greater bacterial diversity than no recent treatment. Treatment-associated changes in skin bacterial diversity suggest that AD treatments diversify skin bacteria preceding improvements in disease activity. In AD, the proportion of Staphylococcus sequences, particularly S. aureus, was greater during disease flares than at baseline or post-treatment, and correlated with worsened disease severity. Representation of the skin commensal S. epidermidis also significantly increased during flares. Increases in Streptococcus, Propionibacterium, and Corynebacterium species were observed following therapy. These findings reveal linkages between microbial communities and inflammatory diseases such as AD, and demonstrate that as compared with culture-based studies, higher resolution examination of microbiota associated with human disease provides novel insights into global shifts of bacteria relevant to disease progression and treatment.
Project description:The microbiome is a rich source of metabolites for the development of novel drugs. Butyric acid, for example, is a short-chain fatty acid fermentation metabolite of the skin probiotic bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). Glycerol fermentation of S. epidermidis resulted in the production of butyric acid and effectively hindered the growth of a Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strain isolated from skin lesions of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) in vitro and in vivo. This approach, however, is unlikely to be therapeutically useful since butyric acid is malodorous and requires a high concentration in the mM range for growth suppression of AD S. aureus. A derivative of butyric acid, BA-NH-NH-BA, was synthesized by conjugation of two butyric acids to both ends of an -NH-O-NH- linker. BA-NH-NH-BA significantly lowered the concentration of butyric acid required to inhibit the growth of AD S. aureus. Like butyric acid, BA-NH-NH-BA functioned as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor by inducing the acetylation of Histone H3 lysine 9 (AcH3K9) in human keratinocytes. Furthermore, BA-NH-NH-BA ameliorated AD S. aureus-induced production of pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 and remarkably reduced the colonization of AD S. aureus in mouse skin. These results describe a novel derivative of a skin microbiome fermentation metabolite that exhibits anti-inflammatory and S. aureus bactericidal activity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Atopic dermatitis (AD) patients have an altered skin bacterial community, with an abundance of Staphylococcus aureus associated with flares, highlighting that microbial organisms may be important for disease exacerbation. Despite strong evidence of association between bacterial skin colonisation and AD, very limited knowledge regarding the eukaryotic microbial community, including fungi and ectoparasites, in AD exists. In this study, we compared the skin and nasal eukaryotic microbial community between adult AD patients (n?=?55) and non-AD healthy controls (n?=?45) using targeted 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Analysis was based on the presence or absence of eukaryotic microorganisms.<h4>Results</h4>The cutaneous composition of the eukaryotic microbial community and the alpha-diversity differed significantly between AD patients and non-AD individuals, with increased species richness on AD skin. Alpha-diversity and beta-diversity were similar on lesional and non-lesional skin of patients. The ectoparasite Demodex folliculorum and the yeast Geotrichum candidum were significantly more prevalent on the skin of AD patients. The prevalence of D. folliculorum on lesional skin was greater among patients recently treated with topical corticosteroid. Malassezia was one of the most frequently detected genera at all sites, with M. globosa and M. restricta being the most prevalent. M. restricta was under represented in the anterior nares of AD patients as compared to the non-AD control population.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Significant differences in the eukaryotic microbial communities were found between AD patients and non-AD individuals, with the most striking finding being the significantly overrepresentation of D. folliculorum on AD skin. Whether D. folliculorum can contribute to skin inflammation in AD needs further investigation.
Project description:The microbiome can promote or disrupt human health by influencing both adaptive and innate immune functions. We tested whether bacteria that normally reside on human skin participate in host defense by killing Staphylococcus aureus, a pathogen commonly found in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and an important factor that exacerbates this disease. High-throughput screening for antimicrobial activity against S. aureus was performed on isolates of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) collected from the skin of healthy and AD subjects. CoNS strains with antimicrobial activity were common on the normal population but rare on AD subjects. A low frequency of strains with antimicrobial activity correlated with colonization by S. aureus The antimicrobial activity was identified as previously unknown antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced by CoNS species including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus hominis These AMPs were strain-specific, highly potent, selectively killed S. aureus, and synergized with the human AMP LL-37. Application of these CoNS strains to mice confirmed their defense function in vivo relative to application of nonactive strains. Strikingly, reintroduction of antimicrobial CoNS strains to human subjects with AD decreased colonization by S. aureus These findings show how commensal skin bacteria protect against pathogens and demonstrate how dysbiosis of the skin microbiome can lead to disease.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen and variable component of the human microbiota. A characteristic of atopic eczema (AE) is colonization by S. aureus, with exacerbations associated with an increased bacterial burden of the organism. Despite this, the origins and genetic diversity of S. aureus colonizing individual patients during AE disease flares is poorly understood. To examine the microevolution of S. aureus colonization, we deep sequenced S. aureus populations from nine children with moderate to severe AE and 18 non-atopic children asymptomatically carrying S. aureus nasally. Colonization by clonal S. aureus populations was observed in both AE patients and control participants, with all but one of the individuals carrying colonies belonging to a single sequence type. Phylogenetic analysis showed that disease flares were associated with the clonal expansion of the S. aureus population, occurring over a period of weeks to months. There was a significant difference in the genetic backgrounds of S. aureus colonizing AE cases versus controls (Fisher exact test, P = 0.03). Examination of intra-host genetic heterogeneity of the colonizing S. aureus populations identified evidence of within-host selection in the AE patients, with AE variants being potentially selectively advantageous for intracellular persistence and treatment resistance.
Project description:Dupilumab is a fully human antibody to interleukin-4 receptor ? that improves the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD). To determine the effects of dupilumab on Staphylococcus aureus colonization and microbial diversity on the skin, bacterial DNA was analyzed from swabs collected from lesional and nonlesional skin in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 54 patients with moderate to severe AD randomized (1:1) and treated with either dupilumab (200 mg weekly) or placebo for 16 weeks. Microbial diversity and relative abundance of Staphylococcus were assessed by DNA sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA, and absolute S. aureus abundance was measured by quantitative PCR. Before treatment, lesional skin had lower microbial diversity and higher overall abundance of S. aureus than nonlesional skin. During dupilumab treatment, microbial diversity increased and the abundance of S. aureus decreased. Pronounced changes were seen in nonlesional and lesional skin. Decreased S. aureus abundance during dupilumab treatment correlated with clinical improvement of AD and biomarkers of type 2 immunity. We conclude that clinical improvement of AD that is mediated by interleukin-4 receptor ? inhibition and the subsequent suppression of type 2 inflammation is correlated with increased microbial diversity and reduced abundance of S. aureus.
Project description:Interactions between the immune system and skin bacteria are of major importance in the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis (AD), yet our understanding of them is limited. From a cohort of very young AD children (1 to 3 years old), sensitized to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergens (Der p), we conducted culturomic analysis of skin microbiota, cutaneous transcript profiling and quantification of anti-Der p CD4+ T cells. This showed that the presence of S. aureus in inflamed skin of AD patients was associated with a high IgE response, increased expression of inflammatory and Th2/Th22 transcripts and the prevalence of a peripheral Th2 anti-Der p response. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC) exposed to the S. aureus and S. epidermidis secretomes were found to release pro-inflammatory IFN-? and anti-inflammatory IL-10, respectively. Allogeneic moDC exposed to the S. aureus secretome also induced the proliferation of CD4+ T cells and this effect was counteracted by concurrent exposure to the S. epidermidis secretome. In addition, whereas the S. epidermidis secretome promoted the activity of regulatory T cells (Treg) in suppressing the proliferation of conventional CD4+ T cells, the Treg lost this ability in the presence of the S. aureus secretome. We therefore conclude that S. aureus may cause and promote inflammation in the skin of AD children through concomitant Th2 activation and the silencing of resident Treg cells. Commensals such as S. epidermidis may counteract these effects by inducing the release of IL-10 by skin dendritic cells.
Project description:Biofilm resistance to antimicrobials is a complex phenomenon, driven not only by genetic mutation induced resistance, but also by means of increased microbial cell density that supports horizontal gene transfer across cells. The prevention of biofilm formation and the treatment of existing biofilms is currently a difficult challenge; therefore, the discovery of new multi-targeted or combinatorial therapies is growing. The development of anti-bioﬁlm agents is considered of major interest and represents a key strategy as non-biocidal molecules are highly valuable to avoid the rapid appearance of escape mutants. Among bacteria, staphylococci are predominant causes of biofilm-associated infections. Staphylococci, especially Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is an extraordinarily versatile pathogen that can survive in hostile environmental conditions, colonize mucous membranes and skin, and can cause severe, non-purulent, toxin-mediated diseases or invasive pyogenic infections in humans. Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) has also emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen in infections associated with medical devices (such as urinary and intravascular catheters, orthopaedic implants, etc.), causing approximately from 30% to 43% of joint prosthesis infections. The scientific community is continuously looking for new agents endowed of anti-biofilm capabilities to fight S. aureus and S epidermidis infections. Interestingly, several reports indicated in vitro efficacy of non-biocidal essential oils (EOs) as promising treatment to reduce bacterial biofilm production and prevent the inducing of drug resistance. In this report were analyzed 89 EOs with the objective of investigating their ability to modulate bacterial biofilm production of different S. aureus and S. epidermidis strains. Results showed the assayed EOs to modulated the biofilm production with unpredictable results for each strain. In particular, many EOs acted mainly as biofilm inhibitors in the case of S. epidermidis strains, while for S. aureus strains, EOs induced either no effect or stimulate biofilm production. In order to elucidate the obtained experimental results, machine learning (ML) algorithms were applied to the EOs' chemical compositions and the determined associated anti-biofilm potencies. Statistically robust ML models were developed, and their analysis in term of feature importance and partial dependence plots led to indicating those chemical components mainly responsible for biofilm production, inhibition or stimulation for each studied strain, respectively.
Project description:<p>The NIH Intramural Skin Microbiome Consortium (NISMC) is a collaboration of investigators with primary expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, large-scale DNA sequencing, dermatology, immunology, allergy, infectious disease, and clinical microbiology. Atopic dermatitis (AD, "eczema") is a chronic relapsing skin disorder that affects ~15% of U.S. children and is associated with $1 billion of medical costs annually. AD is characterized by dry, itchy skin, infiltrated with immune cells. Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is ten-fold more common in AD patients and is associated with disease flares. We hypothesize that, in addition to S. aureus, AD may also be associated with additional novel microbes and/or selective shifts of commensal microbes that are relevant to disease progression. The NISMC seeks to define the microbiota that resides in and on the skin and nares of three patient groups, all of whom have eczematous lesions and are currently seen at the NIH Clinical Center: (1) AD patients; (2) Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) patients; and (3) Hyper IgE syndrome (HIES) patients. Examination of the microbiome of patients with WAS or HIES syndromes, both rare immunodeficiencies, will advance our understanding of how an individual's immune system shapes their cutaneous microbial community. We are performing a prospective longitudinal study that follows these groups of patient thorough the cycles of eczema flares, ascertaining clinical data and samples at each stage.</p>
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex chronic inflammatory disease where allergens can act as specific triggering factors. AIM:To characterize the specificities of IgE-reactivity in patients with AD to a broad panel of exogenous allergens including microbial and human antigens. METHODOLOGY:Adult patients with AD were grouped according to the SCORAD index, into severe (n = 53) and moderate AD (n = 126). As controls 43 patients were included with seborrhoeic eczema and 97 individuals without history of allergy or skin diseases. Specific IgE reactivity was assessed in plasma using Phadiatop®, ImmunoCap™, micro-arrayed allergens, dot-blotted recombinant Malassezia sympodialis allergens, and immune-blotted microbial and human proteins. RESULTS:IgE reactivity was detected in 92% of patients with severe and 83% of patients with moderate AD. Sensitization to cat allergens occurred most frequently, followed by sensitization to birch pollen, grass pollen, and to the skin commensal yeast M. sympodialis. Patients with severe AD showed a significantly higher frequency of IgE reactivity to allergens like cat (rFel d 1) and house dust mite (rDer p 4 and 10), to Staphylococcus aureus, M. sympodialis, and to human antigens. In contrast, there were no significant differences in the frequencies of IgE reactivity to the grass pollen allergens rPhl p 1, 2, 5b, and 6 between the two AD groups. Furthermore the IgE reactivity profile of patients with severe AD was more spread towards several different allergen molecules as compared to patients with moderate AD. CONCLUSION:We have revealed a hitherto unknown difference regarding the molecular sensitization profile in patients with severe and moderate AD. Molecular profiling towards allergen components may provide a basis for future investigations aiming to explore the environmental, genetic and epigenetic factors which could be responsible for the different appearance and severity of disease phenotypes in AD.